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Aspen considerers Indigenous Peoples Day resolution

The Aspen City Council will vote Monday on a measure recognizing the original inhabitants of the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Ute Tribes inhabited the valley for more than 800 years. Earlier this fall, city council showed unanimous support for honoring that heritage by declaring the second Monday of October to be “Indigenous People's Day,” henceforth.

Other cities across the west have made similar proclamations in recent years, and Aspen Ute Foundation’s Deane Vitrac-Kessler said she looks to Aspen to join that movement.

Reporter Alycin Bektesh speaks with Aspen Ute Foundation’s Deane Vitrac-Kessler about the Columbus legacy and the future of the federal government's relationship with Native Americans.

“We were very excited because that was a message of hope, and so immediately we thought: Well, Aspen had to do it too, because usually Aspen is always at the tip of the wave,” Vitrac-Kessler said.


Already, Columbus Day is not recognized by the City of Aspen government. The offices don’t close as they do with other federal holidays. But Vitrac-Kessler said the symbolism of signing the resolution to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day on Columbus Day is a reassuring step that the city will continue to support local native tribes.


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